Driving itself is a risk, so as responsible individuals, we need to avoid any potential hazard that can compromise our safety and that of others. Additionally, if you are applying for a job, your DUI conviction could be a hindrance. Employers usually conduct a background check and if you have a DUI conviction, expect it to show up in your records. Several employers are hesitant to hire applicants with a DUI conviction, as they could be a liability to their company. If you are applying for a mortgage loan or looking for an apartment, there is a chance that your applications might be affected.
In 2002, 41 percent of the drivers killed in crashes were killed in alcohol-related crashes, compared with 37 percent of passenger deaths and 47 percent of pedestrian deaths. Of all pedestrian deaths, 17 percent involved a driver who had been drinking and 38 percent involved a pedestrian who had been drinking. In 7 percent of pedestrian deaths, both the driver and the pedestrian had been drinking (NHTSA 2003f ). Alcohol impaired driving is interpreted by some states differently and vary in the penalties and consequences. When you drink and drive, you’re compromising cognitive ability and responsiveness, which increases your risk for an accident. Get caught, and a single drunk driving infraction may have legal, financial, personal and even professional ramifications.
Characteristics of Alcohol-Related Fatalities
See Chapter 6 for information on the importance of data on place of last drink. Unlike many other behaviors that pose serious risks to health and safety (e.g., smoking and violence), alcohol consumption has a more complex relationship with SES (Jones et al., 2015). People with higher incomes and levels of education are more likely to drink alcohol and to drive while impaired when compared to lower income and less educated populations. Thus, a paradox exists between patterns of behavior and attributable harm when examining these through the lens of SES.
While more serious than a traffic infraction, a misdemeanor might not have a substantial impact on the defendant’s employment or education opportunities. In many states, an impaired driving conviction requires the offender to complete an alcohol and drug evaluation, the results of which can be used by the judge to decide whether treatment is appropriate. Depending on the circumstances, the driver might have to complete inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment or just an educational course on substance abuse. While drunk driving fatalities have been nearly cut in half since 1982, driving under the influence (DUI) continues to be a factor in a third of all fatal crashes. Vehicle miles traveled experienced a downturn in 2009—most likely from the financial crisis; it has since increased and is now at the highest level in U.S. history (FHWA, 2017).
Epidemiology and Consequences of Drinking and Driving
However, among all alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2014, 52 percent occurred in rural areas and 47 percent occurred in urban areas. Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita differ greatly in rural versus urban areas, with rural areas having far greater VMT per capita (Mattson, 2016). The most frequently recorded BAC among alcohol-impaired drivers in fatal crashes in rural areas was 0.19% and 0.14% for urban areas (NCSA, 2016c). DWI arrest rates also vary according to rural and urban composition, what are the consequences of drinking and driving with arrests in nonmetropolitan areas outnumbering metropolitan arrests since the early 2000s (Huseth, 2012). Rural populations also suffer a much higher fatality rate from motor vehicle crashes (alcohol related and non-alcohol related) than urban residents. While 19 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas and rural areas account for 30 percent of total vehicle miles traveled, more than half of crash deaths occur there (FHWA, 2015; IIHS, 2016; U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).
This type of crash among adults (i.e., those age 21 and older) declined 3 to 4 percent both in zero tolerance States and comparison States. The FARS does not routinely record the race and ethnicity of people who die in motor vehicle crashes. However, from 1990 to 1994 a special initiative linked nearly 200,000 records from FARS with death certificate information on race and ethnicity from the National Bureau of Health Statistics (Voas and Tippetts 1999). Information was available only for people who died in crashes, not drivers who survived fatal crashes.
Typical Penalties for a First, Second, and Third DUI
If you witness impaired driving, safely pull over to the side of the road or a parking lot and call 911. Not only to the driver, but also to those on the road around the driver operating the vehicle. The legal penalties for alcohol-related vehicular manslaughter are steep â€“ in many states, prison sentences can be as long as 20 or 30 years.